Anything can happen
By Leonardo Micua
THE 45-day campaign period for the local candidates is almost over. We all know, this is always the most crucial and exciting stretch of the campaign for any aspirant.
It is usually in the homestretch that makes or unmakes the candidate. If he or she is so tough, he or she can weather the last remaining critical days of the campaign. If he or she buckles down, the stronger candidate wins the laurel.
One recalls that on the last day of the campaign in 2010, an incumbent mayor was reportedly leading over his opponent. But the game changer was an incident in an eastern barangay where the mayor’s campaigners were allegedly harassed.
A city official over-reacted to the incident and went to the rescue with toughies in tow in order to even the score. There was manhandling allegedly committed by the newly arrived party. But it was the harassing group that managed to have the incident recorded in the police blotter. And with the aid of a cooperative media, the incident was blown out of proportion the next day and you know who benefited from that unfortunate incident?
Also in the 2016 election, we heard that a provincial candidate, although backed by a block-voting religious sect, lost because he ran out of money in the last stretch of his campaign. He had plenty of money at the very start and had given all these out to mayors and allies as well as to fund what was supposed to be a vote-buying spree.
But his campaign chest eventually ran dry a few days before the campaign officially ended. The result was a complete disaster not only for himself but also for his wife seeking reelection.
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I had a long conversation with my Chicago-based friend Manny Zambrano, younger brother of Ray, over Messenger last May 1 about climate change.
He said it is summer in the U.S. but to the surprise of many Chicagoans, they found themselves shivering in the cold because it was snowing in the southern part of the city beginning last Saturday. Manny, a long-time resident of Chicago, said it was the first snow the people experienced during summer. The usual temperature in Chicago during summer is 22 decrees Celsius but with the snow, it dropped to 8 degrees celsius, recorded at 2: 00 a.m. During regular winter, snow first envelopes the northern part of the city but not this time.
Said Manny: It is summer in Chicago, yet it snows and rains. It rained the whole day on Sunday, paused on Monday, then it rained again the next day. They all blame climate change for the crazy weather.
He said the new phenomenon may have been spawned by a large amount of gas emissions escaping to the atmosphere from factories and coal-fired power plants all over the world, including in the Philippines and right here in our province.
He also recalled a report that there are over 22,000 planes taking off every day in U.S. that discharge smoke into the air which explains why clouds sometime drop as acid rains.
I told Manny that the same thing is happening in the Philippines this summer month. Dagupan City is one with the highest if not the highest heat index daily in the entire Philippines. An official of the local PAGASA said the heat in Dagupan is now so hot that one can already fry an egg in the streets. But during the rainy season, monsoon rains last for several days that result in severe flooding like the recent one in Dagupan and in other places in the Philippines last year.
We conceded that since climate change can no longer be reversed, we are bound to suffer calamities year after year. These are happening because all of us were remiss in our duty to protect the environment where we live.
I told Manny, the rich nations as the U.S. must lead the world in the fight against climate change, starting with the full implementation of the Kyoto protocol that directs rich countries to share their wealth with poor nations so they can fight climate change with the planting of a billion trees. Walking the talk is what we need to do.
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